— Courtesy of Weatherford College
Kylee Studioso said the feeling varies when she strikes out a batter - but it’s always a good feeling. And the Weatherford College pitcher has struck out a LOT of batters.
“The feeling depends on the batter. If it’s the first batter of the game, then I know that everything is working and the game is going to be a good game,” said the sophomore pitcher from Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, Wash.
“If it’s a batter that has had a long at-bat or a batter that has gotten a hit earlier in the game, striking them out is the greatest feeling because for me it shows that it doesn’t matter who the batter is. they will not get a hit every time.”
More often than not, batters simply do NOT get a hit off of Studioso, who posted a 22-2 record with a 1.85 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 147 regular-season innings to help the Coyotes (48-6) reach the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in St. George, Utah.
Last season, as a freshman, she made an immediate impact, finishing with a 23-10 record, a 2.57 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 229 innings. She hasn’t pitched as many innings this season because, quite simply, the Coyotes are ending many of their games early by blasting opponents.
But Studioso feels her role in helping the team achieve national recognition in only its second season goes beyond what she does on the mound.
“With this team, when we all got here in the fall we knew we had something special,” she said. “We had the hitters, the speed, the defense, the catching and the pitching to make it to nationals.
“I think my role with this team was staying a mediator, never getting frustrated or angry when things don’t go our way.”
That attitude paid off for Studioso and her teammates as things mostly went the way of the Coyotes all season. They won the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference and entered the national tournament ranked 10th.
“I learned last year, along with in the fall, that the defense feeds off my energy, so if I know we can do it and that we want it more than the other team, the defense does, too,” said Studioso. “Another part of my role on this team is having everybody’s back, knowing that if I go out there and throw to keep us in a game, the bats and the other girls on the team will have my back to put the runs up that we need to get the win.”
Studioso, like many college players, also played travel club ball. Her team was the Northwest Lady Sharks.
“Playing with the Lady Sharks prepared me for playing college ball so much,” she said. “Between hard practices and playing a lot of games every year, it helped me be conditioned to play at the highest level.”
Next season Studioso will be pitching for the University of Central Arkansas, but she said Weatherford College will always have a special place in her heart because she was part of something special that she believes will last for a long time.
“My experience at WC has been amazing,” she said. “Being able to be a part of starting a tradition is something that I will never forget.”
And while a part of her will always be a Coyote, she said, “I am super excited to become a Bear.”
Studioso, as did the entire Coyotes team, became close to first-year head coach Haylee Williams, who served as an assistant during Studioso’s freshman season. In fact, Studioso wants to be a coach herself following college - and for a college program.
“My career goals, I want to go and play at UCA and make it to the NCAA D1 playoffs, and after school I want to coach softball,” she said. “I haven’t decided at what level, whether it’s kids, high school or college, but ultimately down the road I would love to coach college softball.”
Editor’s note: The WC softball team made a good premier showing at the NJCAA National Championship with a 2-2 record. The Coyotes finished their second season in existence with an overall record of 50-8.